Ireland

Why not shoulder-fired missiles?

Since we have, acting collectively through Mitch McConnell, decided there is no way we can prohibit the kinds of weaponry allowed under the Constitution, why not legalize “citizen rockets?”

The theory to which we have subscribed is that only a good guy with a gun yada yada. Thus, why not let the good guys have access to weapons even more destructive than those that the bad guys wield?

On its face, that may sound absurd. Think about this: We permit and even encourage the fantasy that law-abiding citizens can and should carry weapons everywhere they go so as to deter mass killings, as if a firefight in a dark theater or a church will somehow come out the way firefights in outer space come out, in favor of the Avengers, with very few of the good guys ever getting excluded from the possibility of a sequel.

A good friend once told me that had he been in the Aurora theater with a pistol, he would have taken down the shooter immediately, no problem, presumably by firing at the flashes of light generated by the automatic weapon. Yup, just like in the movies, a firefight wins the day in a dark and crowded theater with, of course, no collateral damage.

As always, Texas leads the way, not just in mass shootings but in ensuring that guns will be mandated as a right on school grounds, in apartment buildings, in foster homes and churches. Henceforth, schools, churches and landlords won’t be permitted to prohibit weaponry on their premises. Three-hundred million armed citizens are obviously not enough armament to deter mass shootings; we need more, or so goes the thinking — if that sort of recitation may be called thinking.

In the name of deterrence, we have incarcerated the masses, especially the masses of color, pitched three strikes past drug possessors for a lifetime behind bars and, this week, we told immigrant children with legal medical deferments under treatment to unhook from life support and go home within 33 days, presumably to find themselves a job and advanced medical care in places like Honduras.

Machismo as policy tells us if a hammer doesn’t put a nail through a steel frame, we need a bigger hammer. If 250,000 troops can’t democratize Vietnam, then 500,000 will for sure. If fines aren’t enough, lifetime sentences will end crack use.  If six lanes in each direction aren’t enough, make it eight or 10 or 12. For proof that a heavier hammer always works, we have a liberated Vietnam, a thriving prison industry and 22-lane highways in California.

Thus, since a heavily armed citizenry and 300 million guns and rifles aren’t deterring mass shootings, surely open carry and heavy weapons will. What lunatic would have driven down the road in Texas this weekend shooting bystanders if he thought someone might have a shoulder-fired rocket handy? Clearly, the possibility of return fire from handguns and even assault weapons didn’t do the job.

Which brings us to the need to legalize and support shoulder-fired rockets to keep the success streak of deterrence policies alive. Knowing you have an AK-47 or an AR-15 or whatever type assault rifle is not going to deter swarms of immigrants or drug users or other fearsome racial groups from coming across your lawn since such a weapon can only dispense 45 rounds of death per minute.

Clearly, we need to build on the success of legalized open carry, access to assault rifles and a gun in every pocket or purse by providing the very best deterrent weapons available to everyone. More is always better.

Mick Ireland studied and wrote on the efficacy of deterrence as a criminal justice policy 30 years ago while attending CU law school. Then, as now, he was a “libtard” who thought assault weapons should be in the hands of the military, not “hunters” and “sportsmen.” You may reach him at mick@sopris.net.